Research Investigation: Commedia Dell'Arte

3696 WordsNov 9, 201215 Pages
How should costumes be chosen in a production of Carlo Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters following the conventions of Commedia dell'Arte? by Jessica Hornsey The Servant of Two Masters is a Venetian comedy in the style of Commedia dell'Arte, written by Carlo Goldoni in 1743. In order for a director to portray Truffaldino and Smeraldina's class clearly, a costume designer would need to know the origins of the characters, as well as traditional masks and costume styles and colours. The Servant of Two Masters takes place in Venice when a servant – the main character, Truffaldino – and his master – Beatrice, disguised as a man – arrive in Venice. Whilst Beatrice is preoccupied with finding Florindo, her lover who fled after having…show more content…
Furthermore, without the masks, costumes became more important in the identification of the stock characters. This shows that The Servant of Two Masters is a landmark in the history and development in Italian theatre. Truffaldino is the stock character "Arlecchino", a Zanni 13, or servant. His role in the play's antics as a buffoonish but agile and clever trickster grows as the play progresses, which is typical for Arlecchino in Commedia. 14 Truffaldino is central to the action in the play, the pivot around which all the action revolves and the source of most confusion. 15 This is demonstrated when he is to give both his master’s clothes an airing and he mixes up their belongings: “(He appears to shove the miniature into the pocket of FLORINDO’s purple jacket […] FLORINDO pats his pockets and feels something there. He takes out the miniature.) FLORINDO Good heavens! This is [...] the very portrait I gave to my beloved Beatrice! Tell me, you, 11 ibid 12 Memoirs of M. Goldoni. Trans. Barrett, H. Clark. In European Theories of the Drama: Crown. 1947. p.249 13 Zanni; An unfortunate immigrant worker, also a servant; contributes to any confusion; always hungry. Rudlin, John. Commedia
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